May 27, 2015

Super Seven: Academy of Art Spring 2011 Collections

First presented at New York Fashion Week, Spring 2011 collections from seven recent graduates of San Francisco-based Academy of Art University deliver fresh silhouettes from rising fashion talents. From Jungah Lee’s sophisticated, yet casual separates to opulently adorned pieces paired with lace from Maria Korovilas, this season’s collections not only display mastery of technique by seven designers at the beginning of their careers, but also add something new to the larger fashion conversation by showing that fashion can still push boundaries while remaining wearable.

Below, we feature one image from each collection, as well as an image from the print collaboration collection, also shown during Fashion Week:

Jungah Lee

Cara Chiappetta

Louie Llewellyn and Xiang Zhang

Collaborative print look

April Howard

Camilla Olson

Maria Korovilas

Photography courtesy of Randy Brooke for the Academy of Art University

Where I’d Like to Be Sept. 9: Evolving Influence 2010

If I were not having a baby, oh, any day now, here’s where I’d be come Sept. 9: Evolving Influence 2010, the blogger conference from Independent Fashion Bloggers. Coinciding with New York Fashion Week, the day-long conference is really a fashion blogger’s dream date with some of the most interesting and influential names, companies and bloggers in the space today. Plus, it’s only $60 – very affordable for a day of smashing networking and information from some really cool voices in the fashion space, among them folks from Blog Lovin’,, Style Bubble and New York magazine’s The Cut.

I watched much of last year’s conference online (it was live-streamed), and I’d highly recommend doing that if they offer it again this year and you are also one of the local fashion folks who, like me, will not be in New York this year during the Fashion Week mayhem.

Local Designer’s Shoes Shine at Fashion Week


Lest you think San Francisco designers were absent from the runways of Bryant Park last month, think again. Martha Davis Shoes were the sole (pun intended) ped-protectors chosen to accompany the Koi Suwannagate fall 2010 ready-to-wear collection. Black leather ankle booties, strappy heels and open-toed platform wedges by Davis complimented Suwannagate’s polished, yet easy-going collection with their subdued, sophisticated appeal.

Of the chance to show off her latest alongside a designer’s work she admires, Davis had this to say:

“Each of our collections has a distinct individuality that supported the other’s without cluttering or overpowering. Koi Suwannagate is a huge talent – it was an honor to collaborate with her.”



More San Francisco fashion news

Diary of an SF Girl at New York Fashion Week (Pt. 2)


In which our intrepid contributor Michelle infiltrates New York Fashion Week and lives to tell.

Sunday, Feb. 14, at Bryant Park — by SF Indie Fashion Contributor Michelle Ruiz

It’s Valentine’s day and, lucky for me, love (ok sparkly runway clothing) is sitting waiting in the Bryant Park tents. After some shopping in SOHO this afternoon, I am trying to find my way back to 42nd and 6th and having a difficult time at that. A twinge of guilt tickles my hands holding a Madewell as I think maybe I didn’t have time to shop during Fashion Week. Nonsense, it’s 4:30 p.m., and I can make it to that 5:00 p.m. Tony Cohen show.

5:15 pm: At the tents, no more room at Tony Cohen even with my invitation in hand. Drats!!!! All of that rushing from SOHO (no cabs around, it is Valentine’s Day, after all), first taking the 3 in the wrong direction, then the 6, finally to arrive on the F.  Subways, they are not a girl’s best friend.

5:45 pm: I try to find the right people to see if I can snag standing room for Custo Barcelona. I get an email from Jenn, (she has a Valentine’s dinner date) and passes along her invite. Score!!! The show starts at 8 p.m., and if I go to it, I will certainly not be able to get in line for Vassilios Kostetsos at 9. Decision time. I chose Vassilios.

6:00 pm: I decide to take up date offer from boy I met last night at Rachel Zoe party. He is nice, not in fashion, a medical resident. It’s a nice change of pace. We go to a place called Jacks, and it is yummy.

7:30 pm: I’m back inside the Bryant Park tents with my Vassilios invite. The show starts at 9 p.m., so I hit up the “Rum of Puerto Rico” counter for some kind of rum strawberry mixture that tastes like sugar. It’s free. No food at NYFW, but tons of free alcohol. Hmmmm.

8:00 pm: I  meet a photographer. He encourages me to join him in the media pit. I do not have a pass, but he says they will not notice, and it’s the best seat in the house, he says. I am scared, but have made friends with many of the security guards anyway, so I doubt they will club me if found.

8:15-8:45pm: In the photographer line outside the Salon where Vassilios show will be. All of the photographers look absolutely exhausted and are living off of Power Bars, speaking different languages and barely notice me. It’s roped off in the section right outside the tents, not where the public waits in line. The photographers get in first.

8:45-9:15 pm:
I am in the media pit. Rad. We are at the end of the runway on risers. I’m on the second step. I’m a little scared with all of the big cameras surrounding me, accents, Red Bull cans. I see the whole tent before the audience is being let in. They start letting the important people like Anna Wintour in, and she’s sitting front row center. Everyone is so well-dressed. Lots of fur coats. My stuff is being stepped on but I don’t care because the show is about to start.

9:20 pm: The show starts, the lights go on, the music is very much like I’m in a European club, the whole thing feels very foreign, but Vassilios is from Greece. The models start to head out one at a time. They are all so tall. Something about them feels retro, but the clothes are very reminiscent of that film the Fifth Element. Men in red leather jackets, women in sparkly numbers with Princess Leia hair. A very interesting sight to see, especially with my little point and shoot, and the clothes two feet away from me. I get smiles from the photographer to my left. He’s from Argentina, and shows me his last shot of the shoes. I’m still stuck on the runway that slowly begins to turn dark after all of the models do their second walk and head back behind where we can’t see. Vassilios steps out briefly and then is flooded with press headed back stage. I fall over.

[Photo by Michelle Ruiz]

Read part 1 of Michelle’s adventures here

Diary of an SF Girl at New York Fashion Week (Pt. 1)


In which our intrepid contributor Michelle infiltrates New York Fashion Week and lives to tell.

Day One At Bryant Park — by SF Indie Fashion Contributor Michelle Ruiz

Today I am going to see two shows at New York Fashion Week and am excited to spend all day in the tents, even with nine shows going on and only two invites! I still can’t believe I have been invited but, it just goes to show you, writing a nice article makes the right PR people think of you and, a couple of months  later, you are inside the tents at Bryant Park. I wonder who I will see.

10:30 am: I enter into the tents showing my Georges Chakra invitation on my iPhone  to the security guard. I’m let right in — hmmm easy enough.

10:35 am: I head to a folding table labeled  “Georges Chakra” in the middle of the foyer and show them my invitation for standing room.

10:39 am: I am given a white postcard with an “S” on it and shoved to wait in a long, long line. I see Tim from Project Runway talking with some designers (I can’t make out which ones) and would feel too much like a stalker to take photos, so I just watch from the line.

10:45 am: We are let into the Promenade Tent. I am standing with some other girls who are not celebrities, most likely assistants to PR people or something like that. I tell the lady usher that if a seat should become available, I would be so grateful to get one!

10:50am: Score! I’m sitting in the fifth row, section C, next to a blond girl who looks like she’s from Laguna Beach. I ask her. She is  not. She’s a writer from named Jenn. She asks me if I see any famous people. We become friends.

11:20 am: The show starts, and I am trying to see over everyone’s heads. I have a pretty good view of the runway and think the clothes are beautiful, but more in an artsy way, not in an everyday wear kind of way.

11:25 am: I love that they list all of the names of the pieces! Brilliant so I know what they are called, and what they are made of. My favorite is “look21” Black Crepe Cocktail Dress with laser cut ruffles.

11:35 am: The show ends and everyone rushes to the runway and backstage to see the designer, but I am still with my new friend Jenn, and we walk outside the Promenade Tent to the hallway to see if we can get any pictures of famous people.

12:15 pm: Jenn invites me to be her guest at The Academy of Art University show at 3! Yay! We take a break to go outside and see all of the people walking in and out of the tents.

2:30 pm: Jenn and I are in line for one of the smaller venues simply called “The Tent.” We have seats and still have to wait in a long, long line to be let in. She is snapping photos left and right, asking me if I see any celebrities. I do not.

2:50 pm: We are let into the tent and seated in second row, section A. Great seats!

3:10 pm: The show begins, and it is far different than the Georges Chakra show. There are a lot of long coats, sweaters, grays, blues and the fabrics drape to the floor. The music is much artsier, like the kind you would hear at an art exhibit. A little distracting.

3:30 pm: The show ends, and I loose my program with all of my notes and the names of the looks. Damn. Everyone rushes out of the tent. Maybe they are going to the next show, maybe they are going to the front area to mix and mingle.

3:45 pm: We go to the bar inside the foyer and get two free cosmopolitan-type concoctions. They don’t card us. Hmmm, I have seen some 14-year-olds running around, but most are escorted by their parents.

4 pm:  I meet a writer who is not given a press pass because of her age. She’s 14. Her name is Maggie, and she writes and produces her own zine in Pennsylvania called Maggie-zine. Age-ism? Maggie feels lucky to be there after befriending Fern (creator of MBFW) last year outside the tents. She doesn’t appreciate Fern’s harsh criticism of her zine, though.

5 pm: I go to check in for the Twinkle show, and it’s packed. I am carrying my coat around because a coat check is out of the question unless you are Mena Suvari or Julia Stiles.

5:30 pm: Still waiting in line for Twinkle and can’t wait to be let in!

5:45 pm: Finally let into Twinkle and am sitting in row four, section A.

6:00 pm: The show starts on time. I love every single look that comes out, particularly look 34, the “Everglade long-sleeved dress with lace yoke in mustard.” I love that all of the models are petite and look to be in their teens.

6:20 pm: The show ends, and I head out to the foyer. I go back to my friend’s apartment and then return at 9:30 pm for the QVC Rachel Zoe  party. I haven’t been invited, but decide to go anyway.

[Photo by Michelle Ruiz]